Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean is hoping for a smoother ride at this year’s Russian Grand Prix, having found it tough going in 2016, and with performance of the VF17 having gone well so far at the three tracks visited this season, a good result here is definitely on the cards.
“It was good to score points in Bahrain. Clearly, we deserved them – since race one, actually. I think the most encouraging fact for now is that the car is performing well everywhere we’ve been.
“So now we go to Russia, which was a bit of a tough one for us last year. We’ll see if we’ve made progress and if the car is working well at every type of circuit. If so, then pretty much everywhere we could score points.”
In terms of car set up, there are similarities between the Bahrain International Circuit and the Sochi Autodrom, but the Frenchman is not sure how much data from Bahrain will transfer across to the race in Russia.
“A lot will depend on the temperature. The tarmac in Bahrain is very rough. It’s very smooth in Russia. There’s a lot that we need to think about.
“I think clearly we’ve got a good baseline, so we’re going to keep working on that and keep trying to improve the car and see what we get in Sochi.”
Having only been part of the F1 calendar for three years Sochi Autodrom has not yet won over the hearts of drivers and fans, but Grosjean loves driving turn three, which is taken at high-speed.
“I do quite like the fast turn three. It’s a very high-speed corner, flat out, then just going into turn four, coming out of the corner, then braking straight away for turn four.
“I think the corners flow into each other quite nicely. It’s a good track to drive.”
The most challenging part of the track for the Frenchman however, is between turns nine, ten and eleven.
“Yes, there’s the braking after the second straight-line DRS zone.
“You’re braking with g-forces then going underneath the bridge. It’s very twisty and the tyres are having a tough time around there. That’s where you really need to get a good balance.”
One fact everyone does love about the Russian Grand Prix track, is its link to the Olympics, having held the winter event there in 2014. For Grosjean in particular that is very poignant, as his Grandfather Fernand competed twice in the Olympics as an alpine skier.
Having brought home points at the last two races, the Haas F1 Team will be hoping to continue on that run when they hit the track in Russia this weekend.